2018 03 04 Lorna Laister On the Road
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Last UpdatedMarch 6, 2018

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On the Road       Sermon notes       Lorna Laister    4th March 2018

Matthew 16:24-26

All of us travel; to work; We visit relatives; We run; We cycle. Sometimes roads give us memories: where you lived? fell off your bike? where your school was. But what about the road you are travelling now? Not of course a literal road, but the road of life?

Today we look at the road to Jerusalem. The road that Jesus walked.

Then we will evaluate our own road

The road of life

Luke 18:31-34

Jesus is going to Jerusalem where he will say goodbye to his disciples. Jesus’ teaching is changing. From parables to wanting more from the disciples personally. He is near the end of His mission on earth - and he will face two things that makes this road a hard road to walk

The Road to Jerusalem = Suffering and Sacrifice

Jesus goes onto make an even bigger point, one that we have trouble with, one that overwhelms us, and one that forces us to reconsider the cost of following Jesus:

Matthew 16:24-26

This is a tough one. What things do we place higher value than God? What are our treasures? What are these things that block our relationship with God?

Why lent is so important

Lent forces me to think about all these attachments, treasures, distractions etc that cause me to put down my cross. Then I pick up my own agenda

Shoulder your cross

What does Jesus mean by ‘shoulder your cross?’ It is not that we must be sacrificed on a cross because Christ has already done that for us. When Jesus called the twelve He called them to follow Him. Jesus is in the lead not us. It is Jesus’ agenda that we are to follow. He does not follow our agenda.

His agenda, the Father’s agenda, is an agenda that requires us to do His work as agents of reconciliation. Of ministry. Of mission.

Our selfish ambition that Jesus speaks of in our main passage keeps us from fully experiencing God’s good agenda.  To ‘shoulder our cross’ is to let go of our own agenda and embrace God’s agenda. The disciples knew what Jesus meant by shouldering the cross. They knew what Jesus meant by the phrase because they regularly saw men shouldering a cross as they walked toward their death.

Matthew 24:9

Remember that there was suffering and sacrifice. And this would be our road as well. It is costly. For some believers this has meant, or will mean, physical death and persecution because that has happened, it is happening, and it will continue to happen until the Lord returns because Jesus said that it would.

We may not, or may, experience this kind of persecution in our situations, but there is another kind of sacrifice that we must make, daily, that is sometimes more unbearable than physical death.

For some, the harder surrender comes in surrendering our agenda or, better yet, our dreams and our hopes to God.

Those things are tied into our very being. They are a part of the spiritual element of our live. The fear that comes in letting them go is a critical issue here.

Matthew 16:22-23

Peter’s statement of disbelief that Jesus would die, shows us that to fully follow God we have to surrender our dreams and life to Him. They have to die.

Have you died to your agenda? Have you surrendered yourself, totally to the Lord?

It’s a choice that we do over and over.

To walk this road requires surrender but not blind surrender. It is an intentional surrender to God who knows all about us and offers us eternal life in the hereafter and a meaningful life now.

Where are you right now?

Where are you at with God in all of this? Where are you not at with God in all of this?

We all have different roads. The calling of each of us is different.

And there are highs and lows. There will be really good patches mixed in with extremely difficult times

Pain and pleasure

Sometimes dropping our agenda really hurts.

Luke 18:29-30

And we go; To teach the children; To love the people Do we suffer? Yes. we get really tired. But it’s worth it

Do we sacrifice? Yes, we sacrifice time with our family. And the reward is now!

But just because it’s hard, it doesn’t mean that it’s the wrong path.

Perhaps you need to clarify your calling? Is it to be a mom. right now? is it to reach out to people who have dropped out of church? Is it to feed the hungry – visit the sick? I DON’T Know WHAT YOUR ROAD IS

But this is Lent.

What is God calling you to give up?

What is the block you have to choose to remove, in order for you to live out the life Jesus has for you? Can you remove the block and see God clearly? Can you remove the block and receive God’s grace?



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